We’ve now fitted hundreds of these panels and we’ve found this method to be the simplest. It also gets the best results.
It’s really important that the panels are handled gently and is not over bent as this can crack the solar cells and reduce the panel’s efficiency and indeed it’s working life.
The panels shown have been designed by Mothership Marine and can be trimed to suit the space between the hand rails. Narrowboats are not built to extra fine tolerances and the measurement between the hand rails can vary. Also for aesthetic reason our narrowboats reduce a little near the bow.
In part 2 we will show you how to apply the cover strips and GRP infill panels.
It does sound like a lot of time however, you should aim to do a panel an hour. That’s 2 hours per day. The hold up is lack of weights.
Some people suggest vacuum bagging but the beauty of the weight system is that if there are inconsistencies in the steel work, the adhesive will fill any dips and you are left with a terrific finish. Vacuum baggine would only accentuate dips and peaks.
It’s worth noting that it is quite safe to walk on these panels in appropriate shoes.